2014 F1

Friday practice quotes: Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari

2014-04-18T042107Z_99320182_GM1EA4I0Y7X01_RTRMADP_3_MOTOR-RACING-PRIXMercedes
Lewis Hamilton, P1 – 1:41.560, 8th; P2 – 1:38.315, 1st

” with the balance of the car at the moment, so we need to go and work on that. This circuit is particularly hard on tyres, as it has been every year, so we need to be prepared for that. A few of the other teams look to have improved in terms of pace, which is great as it means we will have a fight. There’s a lot of work to do and the guys are already here early and working late, but I’m confident that we can make some improvements going into tomorrow.”

Nico Rosberg, P1 1:40.181, 2nd; P2 – 1:38.726, 3rd
“It’s a unique weekend here in China; normally we struggle with rear tyre wear but here it seems to be the front tyres that I struggle with. You have so many long corners; you are just waiting and waiting and waiting to finish the corners. There is a lot of energy spent adapting to this situation. There is a need to be creative and look at the set-up, because graining can be very bad. We are still looking good performance wise, in terms of one-lap pace and on the long runs. But other teams were watching us and pushing a lot as we saw with Fernando today. I guess that my main rival for a win will again be my teammate, so I’m looking forward to the next in-house battle.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“This is a circuit where the performance is limited by the front tyres, which was limiting our overall performance. Nico ran a solid programme but Lewis lost some of the morning and afternoon sessions with a suspension problem, which put him behind the curve. In spite of this, I am still pleased with our level of performance but we certainly saw a more closed up field today because of the graining factor.”

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes team executive director (technical)
“On Lewis’ side of the garage, we experienced a mechanical problem with the rear suspension in first practice. Once we had diagnosed this, we decided to end his session early because it required us to remove the gearbox. The guys did a great job over lunch to make the necessary changes and get him back out with minimal loss of track time. Nico completed his programme without any major issues today and P2 ran to plan with both cars, completing our information gathering with both types of tyre for qualifying and the race. However, both drivers are finding it tricky to get a good balance around this circuit, which has some challenging characteristics, so we have some more work to do overnight in order to improve further.”

2014-04-18T061902Z_164333532_GM1EA4I13IO01_RTRMADP_3_MOTOR-RACING-PRIXRed Bull
Daniel Ricciardo, P1 – 1:40.772, 3rd; P2 – 1:38.811, 4th

“That wasn’t too bad today. I think tyres are always a bit of a challenge around this track, particularly with the softs, they seem to wear on the front left. Turn one is quite bad and turn 13, coming onto the back straight; you do see marbles around the lap, but I think that’s just the nature of the circuit. Our long run looked pretty good and we did more laps than we thought we would, so let’s see how we go tomorrow and Sunday.”

Sebastian Vettel, P1 1:41.629, 9th; P2 – 1:39.015, 5th
“We didn’t have any major issues today, so it was good in terms of testing. The track was very green; I think Formula One were the only cars running on the circuit today. There’s a lot for us to do, for me especially as I’m not yet where I want to be, but we made some progress. Tyre graining was average today, but I think it was the same for the others also; I’m sure it will get better as the weekend goes on. If it’s dry then the circuit ramps up and if it’s wet then it resets every time.”

2014-04-18T042329Z_801793730_GM1EA4I0YC901_RTRMADP_3_MOTOR-RACING-PRIXFerrari
Fernando Alonso, P1 – 1:39.783, 1st; P2 – 1:38.456, 2nd

“All Fridays are the same, a day when you especially need to test the tyres to adapt to the circuit and on this front, maybe it was less useful than usual, because the forecast for tomorrow suggests rain is on the way. We have brought some small updates here, which we already tried at the Bahrain test. Everything worked well and that’s good news. Leaving aside the performance of the others, I am happy with what we have done today. At every race, all the teams bring something new and we must try and make an additional step forward if we want to be competitive. This track is particularly tough on tyres, with the Softs especially suffering from graining over a long run, so it will be important to work out the tyre plan for Sunday. If it rains tomorrow, we will definitely have less information for the race and we will have to rely on guesswork. Let’s hope we make the right choices.”

Kimi Raikkonen, P1 – no time; P2 – 1:39.283, 7th
“It was a difficult day that began with a technical problem in the morning session, which meant I only did an installation lap. Once that was sorted out, in the afternoon, we tried to make up for lost time, concentrating mainly on getting the set-up suited to this track, sacrificing some of our race simulation. It’s difficult to give an overall assessment and I definitely missed out a bit because of the lack of track time. This evening we will concentrate on analysing the data we have gathered and tomorrow, we will try and make the very most of the final free practice session to get the car as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“It’s been a particularly demanding Friday, both for the drivers on track and for the guys in the garage. In the first session, Kimi’s car stayed in the garage throughout the session after completing his installation lap. With Fernando we managed to complete several aerodynamic tests and carry out some checks on the power unit. The afternoon ran more smoothly and with both cars we worked on balance and power delivery. Even if we are making progress on all fronts, we are well aware that it’s always hard to know where you stand on a Friday. Today’s low temperatures affected tyre performance and even if we can expect the track surface to be in better condition tomorrow, the rain expected for qualifying could turn the session into a real lottery. But more important than making predictions is to stay concentrated on our work.”

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